Man sentenced to life in prison for 2019 Muskegon murder

Muskegon County

A booking photo of Jainautica Watkins. (Muskegon County Sheriff’s Office)

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — A man will spend life in prison for the 2019 murder of a Muskegon teenager.

Jainautica Watkins was sentenced on Sept. 16 to serve life in prison on a first-degree murder charge for the death of 17-year-old Mervin Bonner Jr.

Watkins was also sentenced to serve 30 months to five years in prison for carrying a concealed weapon as well as an additional two years for felony firearms.

Watkins, who was 19 at the time of Bonner’s death, was found guilty on all three charges on Aug. 5.

On Aug. 25, 2019, police found Bonner lying in the street with a gunshot wound to his head. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Bonner was expected to start classes at Muskegon Community College the following day.

Mervin Bonner
A photo of Mervin Bonner at his mother’s home in Muskegon. (Aug. 26, 2019)

Family in 2019 described Bonner as a straight-A student working toward a business degree.

Watkins and two other teenagers were also charged in 2019 with lying to authorities investigating the shooting.

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